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Chinese Journal of Chemical Engineering 25 (2017) 1037–1042

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Chinese Journal of Chemical Engineering

journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/CJChE

A novel method based on entransy theory for setting energy targets of


heat exchanger network☆
Li Xia, Yuanli Feng, Xiaoyan Sun, Shuguang Xiang ⁎
Institute of Process System Engineering, Qingdao University of Science and Technology, Qingdao 266042, China

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: A T-Q diagram based on entransy theory is applied to graphically and quantitatively describe the irreversibility of
Received 23 September 2016 the heat transfer processes. The hot and cold composite curves can be obtained in the T-Q diagram. The entransy
Received in revised form 24 December 2016 recovery and entransy dissipation that are affected by temperature differences can be obtained through the
Accepted 21 March 2017
shaded area under the composite curves. The method for setting the energy target of the HENs in T-Q diagram
Available online 25 March 2017
based on entransy theory is proposed. A case study of the diesel oil hydrogenation unit is used to illustrate the
Keywords:
application of the method. The results show that three different heat transfer temperature differences is 10 K,
Heat transfer 15 K and 20 K, and the entransy recovery is 5.498 × 107 kW·K, 5.377 × 107 kW·K, 5.257 × 107 kW·K, respectively.
Process systems And the entransy transfer efficiency is 92.29%, 91.63%, 90.99%. Thus, the energy-saving potential of the HENs is
Entransy obtained by setting the energy target based on the entransy transfer efficiency.
Energy target © 2017 The Chemical Industry and Engineering Society of China, and Chemical Industry Press. All rights reserved.
T-Q diagram

1. Introduction Heat transfer was widely thought to originate in 19th century, which
had gradually matured in theory and engineering application [3]. The
Energy is the driving force for economic growth and sustainable various quantity methods have been used to describe the heat transfer
development of a country. Simultaneously, a series of environmental rate, but there is no concept of efficiency for transfer processes. Guo
and health problems have been caused by energy production and et al. [4] introduced a new physical quantity, entransy, based on the
consumption. Currently China has become the first energy producer analogy between heat and electrical conduction. The entransy of an ob-
and the second largest energy consumer in the world. With the rapid ject describes its heat transfer ability and “thermal potential energy”.
economic development and improved standards of living, energy The concept of entransy dissipation was introduced to analyze an
demand in China is continually rising and resource constraints are irreversible heating transfer process. Moreover, Chen et al. [5,6] derived
becoming more seriously [1]. the extremum principle of entransy dissipation to optimize the process-
Heat exchanger networks are widely used in oil refining, chemical, es of the heat conduction. This attracts many scholars to carry out a
metallurgy, pharmaceutical and other large industrial enterprises. Its sig- series of in-depth related research in various directions, such as heat
nificance can be attributed to its role in reducing energy consumption and conduction [7–9], heat convection [10], the optimal design of heat
increasing energy utilization ratio [2]. Nowadays, three kinds of heat ex- exchangers [11,12], mass transfer [13,14], heat radiation [15–17], and
changer network synthesis methods have been established: the pinch de- multiple transfer process [18].
sign method (PDM), the mathematical programming approach, and the In order to analyze the performance of heat transfer processes, Chen
artificial intelligence approach. PDM is the most mature and successful et al. [19] introduced a two-dimension property diagram, temperature-
method in the heat exchange network design. Besides, PDM is applied heat flow diagram (T-q• diagram). The area between the process curves
to analyze the distribution of energy flow along the temperature gradient of the hot and cold streams represented the total entransy dissipation
in the heat transfer process. The maximum energy recovery (MER) rate in the whole heat exchanger. The diagram can be used to analyze
network can be obtained by PDM, but the heat transfer efficiency cannot the irreversibility of heat transfer processes. Wu et al. [20] compared
be calculated. With the heat recovery processes becoming more complex, the entransy dissipation rates of three simple chemical processes in
the PDM has some shortcomings. For example, the operating and invest- the temperature-heat flow rate diagram (T-Q • diagram). This approach
ment costs are not considered in this method. was applied to evaluate the performance of self-heat recuperation
technology (SHRT).
☆ Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21406124).
The theoretical basis for simplifying the complex chemical process
⁎ Corresponding author. was only provided in the previous work, but was not applied to the
E-mail address: xsg@qust.edu.cn (S.G. Xiang). optimal design of HENs [29].

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cjche.2017.03.015
1004-9541/© 2017 The Chemical Industry and Engineering Society of China, and Chemical Industry Press. All rights reserved.
1038 L. Xia et al. / Chinese Journal of Chemical Engineering 25 (2017) 1037–1042

This article will propose an energy target approach of HENs based on In Eq. (7), we can see that entransy is not completely conserved due
the concept of entransy and entransy dissipation. In comparison with to dissipation, which means the entransy dissipation is a measurement
the PDM, the entransy method of HENs has some obvious advantages, of the irreversibility of heat transfer processes. If the quantity of
such as accurate calculation of entransy transfer efficiency, minimizing entransy that the hot streams release is absorbed by the cold streams,
the entransy dissipation and maximizing the entransy recovery. A real the entransy dissipation is reduced. So the effective energy utilization
case study is used to show the application of the novel method. Thus, is achieved.
the energy-saving potential of the HENs can be obtained based on the The entransy transfer efficiency can be used to evaluate the heat
entransy transfer efficiency analysis. transfer performance of HENs, expressed as.

2. Model and Theoretical Analysis output entransy flux Ec


η¼ ¼ ð8Þ
input entransy flux Eh
2.1. Model of a two-stream heat transfer process with entransy theory
where Eh, Ec represent the quantity of entransy that the hot streams
Guo et al. [4] proposed a new physical quantity, entransy, which release and the cold streams absorb, respectively. The more entransy
correspond to electrical potential energy in a capacitor based on the that cold streams absorb and the less entransy that hot streams
analogy between electrical and thermal systems. The entransy of an dissipate, the higher entransy transfer efficiency can be obtained.
object is,
2.2. Available entransy and the physical meaning of T-Q diagram
1 1 1
Evh ¼ Q vh U h ¼ Q vh T ¼ mcv T ð1Þ
2 2 2 Entransy possesses both the nature of “energy” and the heat transfer
ability. The temperature represents the potential of the heat because the
where Q vh is thermal capacity of an object with constant volume, cv is heat differs at different temperatures. Hence the entransy of hot
specific heat capacity at constant volume, Uh or T represents the thermal streams, which means “potential energy” of heat, can be used effectively
potential. by cold streams.
For a two-stream heat exchanger, which is operated in steady state, When two objects at different temperatures are in thermal contact,
when the temperature drop of the stream is dT, heat flow generating is the total quantity of “potential energy” of heat can be transferred,
dQ, and the output entransy is [21]: which represent the entransy transfer associated with the heat transfer.
Guo et al. [23] considered the entransy as the heat transport potential
dEvh ¼ TdQ vh ð2Þ
capacity in an earlier paper. Cheng et al. [24] found that entransy changes
in heat transfer process of an isolated system and a closed system. This
It is assumed that there is no heat exchanging with environment, the principle was called entransy decrease, based on the first and second
change of kinetic and potential energy, the effects of conduction and laws of thermodynamics. That can be written as dG≤0 (the equal sign
mixing in the direction of stream can be ignored [22]. The heat capacities is tenable for an ideal heat transfer process, while the sign of “less
and heat transfer coefficients are defined as constant. than” is tenable for natural heat transfer process), which can be
With these assumptions, specific heat capacity at constant volume described as the irreversibility of heat transfer process due to entransy
and specific heat capacity at constant pressure are approximately equal, loss or heat transfer ability.
which can be written as The volume changes are not usually considered in heat transfer. As T
is a state quantity and δQ is a process quantity, entransy T·δQ is obviously
cv ≈ cp ð3Þ
a process quantity. Hu et al. [25] derived that the entransy flow of a
system, which was called the system entransy G, corresponded to a
The heat transfer between the hot and cold streams is state quantity in a reversible process with constant volume.
Based on the first law of thermodynamics, the energy balance
dQ vh ¼ −mh cp;h dT h ¼ mc cp;c dT c ð4Þ
equation can be expressed as.

where m is the mass flow, the subscript h refers to the hot stream, and ðTδQ Þrev ¼ TdU þ TδW ð9Þ
the subscript c refers to the cold stream.
The entransy change between the hot and cold streams is
Eq. (9) points out that in entransy transfer, a portion of the entransy
dEh ¼ −T h dQ; dEc ¼ T c dQ ð5Þ flow will be converted into work entransy, T·δW, which makes no
contribution to the heating or cooling of an object. T·dU is the available
portion of the entransy flow, which is called the available entransy.
The entransy balance equation of hot and cold streams in heat transfer
As mentioned above, the heat transfer process of streams can be
can be defined as.
shown in the T-Q diagram. It is clear that the heat transfer capability
Q should be enhanced in the HENs. The available entransy, which makes
Eh;in þ ∫ 0 t −T h dQ ¼ Eh;out ð6aÞ
contribution to the heating or cooling streams, needs to be maximized.
Thus, the heat transfer performance is improved, and the effective
Q
Ec;in þ ∫ 0 t T c dQ ¼ Ec;out ð6bÞ utilization of energy is realized.

where the subscripts in and out denote the inlet and outlet states, 3. Novel Method to Setting the Energy Targets
respectively.
The entransy dissipation in the whole heat exchange network can be The tasks of HENs synthesis are minimizing capital and operating
obtained by summing Eqs. (6a) and (6b) costs, achieving the initial temperature to the target temperature. The
   
feed, which starts cold and needs to be heated up, is called as a cold
1 1 1 1 stream; conversely which starts hot and needs to be cooled down, is
ΔE ¼ Ein −Eout ¼ mh cp;h T 2h;in þ mc cp;c T 2c;in − mh cp;h T 2h;out þ mc cp;c T 2c;out
2 2 2 2 called as a hot stream [26].
Q
¼ ∫ 0 ðT h −T c ÞdQ In the proposed method, the available entransy of the HENs can be
ð7Þ maximized, which means the entransy of all hot streams can maximum
L. Xia et al. / Chinese Journal of Chemical Engineering 25 (2017) 1037–1042 1039

possible absorbed by the cold streams. Taking the temperature T and the
heat flow rate Q as the horizontal and vertical coordinates, respectively,
a T-Q diagram to express the heat flow processes of streams can be
constructed, as shown in Fig. 1 [19]. The green shade area under the
composite curve stands for the entransy flow when the stream temper-
ature from Tin to Tout, as shown in Eq. (2), which means the available
entransy of the system.

Fig. 3. The property diagram in heat transfer processes between hot and cold streams.
Meanwhile, the amount of entransy dissipation and entransy recovery are shown in this
diagram.

blue shaded area under the cold composite curve, which is identified
as the entransy recovery of the system, indicates that the cold streams
effectively utilize the entransy transferred from the hot streams.
For a heat exchanger network, in order to meet the actual industrial
production needs, the quantity of entransy that the hot stream releases
Fig. 1. The property diagram in heat transfer processes of streams. is not completely absorbed by the cold stream. The entransy required
for the cold stream to be heated to the target temperature cannot be
provided entirely by the hot stream. Generally we need additional hot
During the heat transfer processes, the change of heat is equal to the and cold utilities in the system.
enthalpy change of each stream. In Fig. 2, the T-axis is a continuous The maximum energy recovery and the minimum utility require-
change and the Q-axis is a relative change. If process curve is shifted ments can be achieved by the HENs synthesis method, which means
along the Q-axis, the change of temperature, heat and entransy will that the entransy of all hot streams can possibly be absorbed in maxi-
not affect the property of stream. Thus, to handle multiple streams, it mum by the cold streams. Meanwhile for the maximum entransy recov-
is convenient to combine the lines of multiple streams into a single ery, the minimum entransy dissipation and the minimum utility
curve. requirements are represented in the optimization of heat exchanger
Fig. 2 shows a formation of the hot composite curve. It is formed by network, shown in Fig. 4.
three hot streams, whose heat capacity flow rates are named as A, B, C. For the design of heat exchangers, considering exchanger area,
The enthalpy change can be calculated in a series of every interval tem- utility requirements and capital cost with minimum approach tempera-
peratures. If there is only one line in an interval, the slope cannot be ture ΔTmin changes. There is an optimum value for ΔTmin, which is usually
changed. If multiple lines exit in an interval, the temperature of vertical 10–20 K.
coordinates in this interval remains unchanged, the enthalpy change of In Fig. 4, the hot and cold composite curves are shifted on the Q-axis
horizontal coordinates added together, which means the vector sum of and close to each other. Until the two composite curves reach to the
these lines in this interval can be got. Finally, the line segments are con- predetermined target position (ΔTmin) in a vertical direction, the
nected end-to-end to form a single curve, shown in Fig. 2(b). lower right corner area indicates the minimum entransy of hot utility
Using the same method, the cold composite curve can be obtained. requirements (Eh,min), which means the cold streams can be entirely
Therefore, the green shade area between the hot and cold streams in heated to target temperature. The lower left corner area indicates the
Fig. 3 is the total entransy dissipation, ΔE,·as shown in Eq. (7). The minimum entransy of cold utility requirements (Ec,min), which means

Fig. 2. Example of formation of the hot composite curve: (a)A T-Q diagram of three hot streams; (b)The process of forming a hot composite curve through three hot streams.
1040 L. Xia et al. / Chinese Journal of Chemical Engineering 25 (2017) 1037–1042

Table 2
The data of cold streams

Flow Initial Final CP


temperature temperature /kW·K−1
/K /K

1 Raw oil inlet 334.2 413.5 228.0


2 Mixed hydrogen 356.5 448.8 75.3
3 Oil mixed with hydrogen 423.4 618.9 401.3
4 Bottom oil 494.8 518.8 303.2
5 Fractionation column bottom 541.7 553.6 600.4
oil
6 Steam 368.0 474.6 112.7
7 Steam 462.9 539.1 10.8

units is shown in Fig. 5 and the hot and cold streams are simultaneously
represented (red represents hot stream and blue represents cold
stream).
Fig. 4. The property diagram in heat transfer processes of all hot and cold streams in the
HENs.
4.1. Before setting the energy target of diesel oil hydrogenation unit

the hot streams can be entirely cooled to target temperature. And the According to Table 1, the hot and cold composite curves are shown
overlapped area between the composite curves represents the max- in Fig. 6. As a result, the entransy of hot streams is 6.762 × 107 kW·K
imum entransy recovery and the minimum entransy dissipation. while the entransy of cold streams is 6.352 × 107 kW·K. There is no
Entropy, which is another kind of physical quantity in thermody- overlapped area between the composite curves, which means the
namics, is a measure of the irreversibility of a process and the random- quantity of entransy that the hot streams release is not absorbed by
ness of a system. The entropy theory is mainly applied to the heat-work the cold streams. Hence, there are no entransy recovery, the minimum
conversion optimization in reversible process, but there is an “entropy entransy dissipation is 1.311 × 108 kW·K.
paradox” [27]. That is with the increase of heat exchanger effectiveness,
the entropy generation number is also increased. In addition, entropy 4.2. After setting the energy target of diesel oil hydrogenation unit
cannot be used to describe energy quality. However, entransy is devel-
oped to describe heat transfer ability of a real system. The entransy dis- It is assumed that the minimum approach temperature ΔTmin is 10 K.
sipation number, which is introduced by the theory of entransy The cold and hot stream composite curves are shown in Fig. 7.
dissipation, can resolve entropy generation paradox. The entransy dissi- As a result, the entransy of hot streams is 6.762 × 107 kW·K, the
pation number can correctly describe the global performance of the entransy of cold streams is 6.352 × 107 kW·K, the entransy of hot utility
heat exchangers with three different flow arrangements simultaneously is 8.543 × 106 kW·K, the entransy of cold utility is 7.428 × 106 kW·K, so
[28]. Compared with the entropy analysis, the entransy analysis has ob- the entransy recovery is 5.498 × 107 kW·K, the entransy dissipation is
vious advantages. 5.212 × 106 kW·K, and the entransy transfer efficiency is 92.29%.
Using the similar methods mentioned, one can obtain the optimiza-
tion results of three different minimum approach temperatures: 10 K,
4. Case Study
15 K, and 20 K. The results of comparing three different energy targets
are listed in Table 3.
The diesel oil hydrogenation unit of one petrochemical company in-
From the results of calculation, we can see that the quantity of
cludes reaction, fractionation, acid gas desulfurization, and the design
entransy is influenced by the variation of temperature difference.
scale is 3.4 million tons per year. According to limits and measurement
Corresponding to the minimum temperature difference, ΔTmin
methods for emission from light-duty vehicles (China 5), part of the
is given as 10 K, 15 K, and 20 K while the entransy recovery is
transformation of the unit is to meet the requirements of the production
5.498 × 10 7 kW·K, 5.377 × 107 kW·K, and 5.257 × 10 7 kW·K,
of diesel oil. To reduce the external hot utility usage, the optimization of
respectively. The entransy dissipation is 5.212 × 10 6 kW·K,
heat exchanger network has a practical significance. The data of hot and
5.661 × 106 kW·K, and 6.093 × 106 kW·K. Therefore, the entransy
cold streams are shown in Tables 1, 2. The process flow diagram of the
transfer efficiency is 92.29%, 91.63%, and 90.99%. It is obvious that the
larger the temperature difference, the more hot and cold the utility
requirements, the less the entransy recovery, the more the entransy
Table 1 dissipation, and the lower the entransy transfer efficiency.
The data of hot streams The heat transfer rate equation could be expressed as.
Flow Initial Final CP
temperature temperature /kW·K−1 Q ¼ UAΔT LM ð10Þ
/K /K
where A is the heat transfer area, U is heat transfer coefficient. ΔTLM is
1 Oil mixed with hydrogen 655.9 504.8 418.1
2 High pressure segregator gas 396.0 321.0 206.4 the log mean temperature difference, which expression is
3 Thermal low pressure 505.0 307.0 1.5
separator gas ΔT h −ΔT c T h;in −T c;out −T h;out þ T c;in
ΔTLM ¼ ¼  ð11Þ
4 Overhead recycle oil 418.5 303.1 30.7 ln ðΔT h =ΔT c Þ ln T h;in −T c;out =T h;out −T c;in
5 Overhead recycle oil 428.7 319.2 17.2
6 Naphtha 320.0 310.8 1.9
7 Diesel oil 542.5 325.7 244.9 It is found that the heat exchanger area is inversely proportional to
8 Lean amine 325.1 316.0 67.5 the temperature difference. For an actual heat exchanger, the lower
9 Lean amine 325.0 316.8 17.7 values of ΔTmin can lead to larger area and more capital cost. Therefore,
10 Acid gas 313.0 307.0 1.5
in the design of heat exchanger network, we need a comprehensive
L. Xia et al. / Chinese Journal of Chemical Engineering 25 (2017) 1037–1042 1041

Fig. 5. The process flow diagram of diesel oil hydrogenation unit. In the diagram, red represents hot streams and blue represents cold streams.

consideration of operating and capital costs, heat exchanger surface


area, process conditions, etc. Finally, the optimal minimum approach
temperature, ΔTmin and the effective energy utilization can be obtained.

5. Conclusions

This paper has presented a novel method based on entransy theory


T/K

for setting energy targets of HENs in T-Q diagram. The hot and cold com-
posite curves can be obtained in the T-Q diagram.

700
Hot stream
650 Cold stream
600
Q×10-4 /kW
550
T/K

Fig. 7. The heat transfer property diagram of the diesel oil hydrogenation unit after setting
500 the energy target.

450
400 Table 3
The results of setting different energy targets, ΔTmin = 10 K, 15 K, 20 K
350
The entransy of HEN ΔTmin = 10 K ΔTmin = 15 K ΔTmin = 20 K
300 The entransy of hot streams/kW·K 6.762 × 107 6.762 × 107 6.762 × 107
4 8 12 16 20 24 28 32 The entransy of cold streams/kW·K 6.352 × 107 6.352 × 107 6.352 × 107
The entransy of hot utility/kW·K 8.543 × 106 9.751 × 106 1.095 × 107
Q ×10-4/kW The entransy of cold utility/kW·K 7.428 × 106 8.190 × 106 8.960 × 106
The entransy recovery/kW·K 5.498 × 107 5.377 × 107 5.257 × 107
The entransy dissipation/kW·K 5.212 × 106 5.661 × 106 6.093 × 106
Fig. 6. The heat transfer property diagram of the diesel oil hydrogenation unit before
The entransy transfer efficiency/% 92.29 91.63 90.99
setting the energy target.
1042 L. Xia et al. / Chinese Journal of Chemical Engineering 25 (2017) 1037–1042

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